My name is Amanda, I am a wife to Brad, mother to Asher and Selah, and as many animals as I can sneak into my little house. I am a friend to many and absolutely love people. I'll follow Jesus anywhere. I love color and adventure. Some may say I am a hoarder of hobbies. I am an artist storyteller. It is only fitting that I share with you my story of how I became some of these things.

As a child, other kids loved a coloring sheet. My parents laugh, telling how that was just never enough space for me. They wound up buying a big roll of paper and letting my art take over our hall.

I have always seen things as larger than life. As I planned a career path as a mental health therapist, side art jobs kept coming my way. After completing my master's degree in counseling, I looked tirelessly for a “real” job, while keeping a steady stream of creative projects in the meantime.

One day, my intuitive husband sat me down. “Amanda, I wonder if art is supposed to be more than a side hustle...every other door seems sealed shut. I wonder if The Lord is telling you something”.
That year for my birthday, he gifted me with a week of training under one of the original faux finishers in the Atlanta area. It was really expensive—, especially on one income. When I asked how he had paid for it, he wrecked my heart. He had cashed out the savings account he had started as a little boy. He looked me in the eye and told me I was a better investment.

Over the years, when I chose to raise my babies and put art on the back burner, I wondered if he had made the right choice. But as they have become more independent, I have been blessed with opportunities that have grown with my availability.

One of my favorite opportunities is ongoing mission work in Rwanda, Africa, where part of my work is helping the local artist design and create products we sell for them stateside, giving them their first opportunity to earn a living. I have slowly been able to fund this work with a variety of art jobs. It still blows my mind that making art is mission work. I always just assumed it had to be hard to reach mission status. Turns out, God equipped us all to joyfully serve Him with our skills. That is a really cool thing for me. {Learn more about Come Away Missions here}

It never ceases to excite me to be invited into peoples homes and lives. I love being able to paint a piece of art that offers my clients joy, inspiration, reflection, and nostalgia. As my style has evolved, I slowly realized that paint isn’t the only medium that lights me up. A newer opportunity has been to teach a hand stitching class with an organization that helps fund adoption and works with foster families. I get to teach young girls skills I began to cultivate at their age. I often share with them how the skills they are learning can easily become a blessing in their community and around the world.

I have always felt strange for the way I see the world. Over the years, tentative sharing was met with mixed reviews, which often sent me crawling awkwardly back into my turtle shell. I will never forget the moment I felt my attitude shift. I had been in bible study with my friend Nikki for years. When I transitioned out, she sent me a card. {what if we all sent more cards?? What a wonderful world it would be...} She said she would miss hearing my thoughts. They were often different than anything she saw and she loved that. Nikki isn’t someone who is casual with words. So her encouragement was powerful to me, and I now recognize it spoke life into the future the Lord was planning for me.

I have to pause here and tell you to be brave and bold with words of encouragement. When you see something in someone tell them!!! It may be the confirmation they need to be obedient in a really big faith step.

It took a couple of years before I started sharing in a more public forum what I call ponderings. I feel like God has pushed me to share my thoughts and stories openly and honestly, even when they leave my heart vulnerable. I want nothing more than to obey my Jesus. It gets easier and easier to say yes to hard things because I trust Him with my vulnerability first.

I would be honored for you to join me in my journey to create art that captures, and to share ponderings that inspire. It would mean so much if you agreed to walk out this path with me. I would love for you to share with me the truths the Lord teaches you, too.


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